Pairing/Characters: Tia Dalma/Elizabeth, past Tia Dalma/Jack
Word Count: 1294
Genre: Mostly gen
Summary: Tia Dalma knows what she wants. And she knows everyone who wanders into her hut.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Sadly.
Spoilers: Dead Man's Chest
Warnings: Lil' bit of femmeslash in this one, at least on Tia Dalma's end, but I couldn't force anything more explicit into the fic.
Notes: It's a mild argument, a short kiss and it's more of a lost person than an object, but hopefully it still passes muster!
Jack Sparrow thought he knew her? Ha.
Of course, he had known her, few who had come through her shanty did not. If Tia Dalma was anything, she was a woman who knew what she wanted.
So when the young aspiring captain had wandered into her hidden part of the island – mostly by luck – she had known immediately what she wanted.
What did he want? Well, back then he was a man who was easy to please. Some fine rum, something shiny, and the company of a beautiful woman for an evening.
Of course, Jack had had no idea what he was getting into when he had first accepted Tia Dalma’s invitation to share her bed. As clothes were torn and mouths roughly pushed together in hungry kisses, he didn’t know that he was forging a deeper magic than that magic which guided his newly acquired compass. And magic one didn’t understand is perhaps the most dangerous kind of all.
Much to Tia Dalma’s delight, Jack couldn’t stay away from her for long. Every few months the rapidly growing young man would wander back – half by accident – to her shack in the swamp. He would stumble and stammer, looking lost, trying to make excuses for his presence as Tia Dalma approached him like a cat stalking its prey.
Of course, only the strongest magic lasts forever. And as potent as they were together, Tia Dalma recognized that Jack was growing up and away from her, turning into a rugged fully-grown man before her unchanging eyes. His visits became fewer and farther between as he earned – or perhaps commandeered, she was never sure how it’d happened – the captainship of the Black Pearl. He visited when he needed something that only her talents could provide, but soon stopped sharing her bed.
Not that it was any great loss to Tia Dalma. She was never at a loss for companionship. Though there was something special about Captain Jack Sparrow.
Just as there was something special about that William Turner. And his brooding fiancé, Elizabeth Swann. If Jack Sparrow had found her by luck, and William Turner by destiny, what was it that had brought Elizabeth Swann into her swamp? Neither? Both?
Elizabeth was one of those tragic women whose life was ruled by men. After all, Jack and William had turned up essentially by their own will – they set the events into motion that brought them into her swamp. Elizabeth had relied all of her life on her father, was preparing to rely upon William, and had ended up in Tia Dalma’s shack thanks to her reliance on men – these pirates – to take her to her lost fiancé.
Though there was no doubt about it – Elizabeth Swann had her own touch of destiny about her. And it amazed and fascinated Tia Dalma. She had to know more.
And what Tia Dalma wants, Tia Dalma gets.
The pirate men had fallen asleep easily – they were used to making do with whatever was given, so sleeping on an uneven wooden floor was no problem for them. Even young William had found a troubled sleep, eventually, sleeping near enough to Elizabeth’s prone form to protect her should danger arise, but not close enough to endanger her British honor.
Yet Elizabeth was clearly troubled – sleep would not come to her.
“Do you need something, Elizabeth?” Tia Dalma asked her quietly as the witch was going about and putting out the dozens of candles in her hut. “If you need a bed, I am happy to offer you mine.”
“No,” Elizabeth said firmly, trying to push her troubles out of her mind. “It’s just been an unsettling day.”
“Aye, that it has been.” Tia Dalma lifted a half-melted candle from a table, carrying it with her as she sat next to the young woman. She held the candle to Elizabeth’s face, examining the dark brown eyes and the furrow that seemed to have permanently etched itself into her brow in the last few hours. “The others have set aside their sorrow. They recognize they have a mission. You have not. Why?”
Elizabeth looked away from the witch’s inquisitive, red-rimmed eyes. “I certainly feel no sorrow for Jack Sparrow.”
“Oh, but you do. You can’t hide your feelings from Tia Dalma. Come back to my room. You’ll have more tea and lay down in a real bed to protect yourself from the demons of the night.” Tia Dalma held out a hand for Elizabeth. After hesitating a moment, Elizabeth slipped her hand – darkened by the sun and roughened by working on ships – into Tia Dalma’s smooth, dark and surprisingly strong hand.
Hips swaying hypnotically, Tia Dalma led the young woman back into her room, where she had led so many others before, each of them desperate for the help only Tia Dalma could offer. And like Jack Sparrow before her, Elizabeth had no idea what she was accepting when she agreed to Tia Dalma’s invitation.
“Lay down on the bed,” Tia Dalma instructed as she poured water from a pitcher into a pot she was holding over a small open fire. “No men are here, only us women. Be comfortable.”
Slightly disconcerted by the last instruction, Elizabeth shrugged off the vest she had been wearing, but left the shirt, belt and trousers on as she curled up in a corner of Tia Dalma’s bed. It was hardly the elegant mattress she’d been used to back in Port Royal, but it was better than the hammock she’d slept in on the Black Pearl.
And much more private.
“You are worried,” Tia Dalma muttered as she poured the steaming water into two mugs. “You don’t know if agreeing to go to the end of the world is wise – even to find the lost Jack Sparrow.”
Elizabeth hated the way this woman seemed to be able to see into her very soul to dig up her deepest secrets. “Of course I’m worried – Barbossa has shown no love towards any of us, let alone Jack. We don’t know what to expect.”
Tia Dalma smirked as she handed a mug to Elizabeth. “So you do not trust Tia Dalma? You do not trust destiny?”
“The only person I distrust is Barbossa.” And Jack Sparrow.
“Only? What about Jack Sparrow? You did not trust him to make the right choice.”
Elizabeth glared at Tia Dalma. “How do you do that? What kind of witch are you to be able to read my thoughts?”
“You wear your heart out in the open. It does not take a witch to see what you’re thinking.”
Elizabeth set her tea down without taking a drink. “I thank you for your offer but I think I would be more comfortable sleeping near Will.”
Tia Dalma stood at the same time Elizabeth did, blocking the young woman’s escape. “You are like Jack in so many ways, Elizabeth Swann. Just like him, you do not know what you want.”
“That’s absurd. Now let me pass.”
“I always know what I want, Elizabeth. I can show you that sort of clarity.”
“No, thank you.”
“You need a clear mind and a steady heart where you’re going. Doubt and confusion will put everyone you love in danger.”
Elizabeth looked past Tia Dalma’s shoulder and caught a glimpse of Will’s face, relaxed in his sleep. “Will?”
Tia Dalma put a hand under Elizabeth’s chin, forcing their eyes to meet. “Everyone, Elizabeth Swann.”
Elizabeth clenched her jaw. “What must I do?”
Tia Dalma smiled a dangerous smile and gently led Elizabeth back to the bed, ready to share her secrets as only one woman can share with another. It was the opportune moment to illustrate how one woman can know another. As Jack Sparrow had thought he’d known Tia Dalma.